Why Food Stamps Usage Is Up Despite Poverty Being Down

SNAPFood stamp use has increased nearly 300 percent nationwide since 2014, despite a drop in the poverty rate, according to a report released Wednesday by The Foundation for Government Accountability.

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“Even though poverty rates are declining, the number of people receiving food stamps continues to climb,” the report detailed. “Food stamp spending is growing ten times as fast as federal revenues.”

According to their report – ”Restoring Work Requirements Will Help Solve the Food Stamp Crisis” — the problem results from less restrictive eligibility requirements.

The United States Department of Agriculture is the main agency in charge of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. According to its own findings, SNAP has increased from 17 million participants in 2000 to nearly 47 million in 2014. Concurrently, work requirements were waived in many states.

“Federal law generally limits food stamp eligibility for non-disabled childless adults to just three months out of any three-year period unless they meet specified work requirements,” the report also noted. “These work requirements have become irrelevant in recent years, however, as states have been given waivers to exempt able-bodied adults from federal work requirements.”

The Obama administration had granted working requirement waivers to 40 states and partial waivers to another six states. As a result more states are providing food stamp benefits to more adults who don’t work despite not having physical disabilities preventing them from doing so.

“By 2013, a record-high 4.9 million able-bodied, childless adults were receiving food stamps,” the report continued. “Federal spending on food stamps for able-bodied adults skyrocketed to more than $10 billion in 2013, up from just $462 million in 2000.”

The size of the program alone has prompted concern among among many lawmakers. Some on the state and federal level have tried reforming the program by getting work requirements back or adding additional eligibility requirements. In July, the administration for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker sued the USDA after the agency informed the state it could not drug-test those on food stamps. Walker is currently running for the Republican nomination for president.

“The way forward for states could not be more simple or clear,” the report concluded. “Governors should decline to renew the federal waivers that have eliminated work requirements for able-bodied childless adults on food stamps.”

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Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation


  1. Rottweiler says

    Obama has converted America into a third world country and the Democratic party and the people of America are solely responsible. There should be no complaints especially for the populice of California who promote illegal alien give aways, decimating our medical, and for the one purpose of making America a one party huge government system ala Europe. Like the Roman Empire the progressives Democrats and liberals have sunk the entire concept of why America was founded. The reason is to free ourselves from those who have yet again stolen our liberties and freedoms.

  2. Nobody has a problem giving people a hand up when they need it. The problem is when it becomes a handout. The solution is simple. Give food stamps for a set period of time no restrictions. After that they work for the city cleaning the streets or painting out graffiti or something similar for three days a week. That leaves you 2 days a week to find a job. If you get welfare also make it four days a week. If you have small kids to watch some of the mothers can watch the kids for the others. If you are older you can help out at the library or something else to earn your food stamps.

    • Skeptical says

      John, your ideas seem great. Their problem lies in how to administrate them. With the central govermwent, not the grass roots social level, underwriting (financing) the ideas, who do you think will also regulate them? Can you say,”government collective”?
      So where did the individual undertaking of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness go?
      The federal government with tax money to burn and no real cares about the ever-climbing stupendous federal debt, shows the evil enablement of the 13th Amendment.

    • Can’t happen as you would be taking jobs from union-member government employees.

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